Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Elizabeth Discusses Honesty in Reading

Oh, hello. Apparently it's my day to post, which I nearly forgot, but most fortuitously remembered in time.


So let's discuss reading lists, shall we?

Recently someone (who was obviously procrastinating that day) posted on one of my writing loops with a link to NPR's favorite beach reads. Apparently NPR had some kind of online poll for the 100 best beach reads ever. The top pick was a Harry Potter book, which quite makes sense to me, but after that the list became rather dicey. I remember Anna Karenina was number 42.

Yup. Anna Karenina.

Some other picks were: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Old Man and the Sea, and Lolita. Now far be it for me to be judgemental, but I think some of the people who took this poll are big fat LIARS. Who in the world would take Lolita to the beach? (Note: I'm not knocking any of these classics, but come on, haven't you read something more recently?) It's as if they couldn't think of a book--any book--so they had to fall back on their high school (or in the case of Lolita, college) reading lists.

Sigh. I've thought about this list and I've come to the conclusion that either a) these people are fibbing about what they like to read, or b) they aren't reading at all, or c) they really are reading Lolita at the beach.

I'm not betting on c. So in the interest of Honesty in Reading I've decided to list what I'm reading. Let's see, the last three books I read were:

Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy
A Hint of Wicked by Jennifer Haymore
Ghost Hunter by Jayne Castle

The next three books I'll read (probably--they're on my bedside table anyway) are:

Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy (I'm on a roll!)
Death Angel by Linda Howard
Storm of Visions by Christina Dodd

And--special bonus!--if I were going to take a book to the beach and assuming I'd read it before (thus qualifying it for best beach book ever) I'd take:

Shield's Lady by Jayne Ann Krentz

Unless I brought Linda Howard's Mr. Perfect. Or Jim Butcher's Summer Knight. Or Julia Quinn's Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. Actually, if you gave me enough time, I bet I could come up with at least a hundred books I'd bring to the beach before I took Anna Karenina.


Elizabeth Hoyt


Diana Holquist said...

As one who just returned from the beach, I'll tell you that every other person is reading something by Jodi Picoult. Really. I started to count....what is up with that?

And me? I was reading The Worst Book Ever Written (don't want to say the title....Google alerts and all...). There's a certain odd pleasure in reading something so awful, it starts to become funny.

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

Aha! First-hand beach reading reporting! I don't even think Jodi Picoult was on that list. So who are these secret Jodi Picoult readers??? And do they listen to NPR?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

I personally HATE the beach.. all that sand .. ick!

But the last 3 books I read while sitting on a nice park bench while the kids played in the sand were:

Lord of Seduction by Nicole Jordan (still reading)
Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon (signed copy.. GO ME!)
To Seduce A Sinner by you (again ... lent my Hoyt books to my BFF who just returned them and I had to re-connect with Jasper.. love me some Jasper!)

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

Well, I must confess that the beach and all that sun do not mix well with my Northern European pasty-white skin, so personally if I were to take a day of reading I think I'd like to do it in a hammock in the shade drinking a tall glass of frosty lemonade. With a cute cabana boy to fan me. And maybe massage my toes.

But that's just me...

Rene said...

Doesn't "NPR" stand for National Pretentious Radio?

I have to admit, I tend to read non-fiction during the summer. I read "1776" by David McCullough and I've been trying to read a biography of Mao but its not holding my interest. I also read "Shanghai Girls" by Lisa See which I had mixed feelings about.

Once fall hits, I'm back to romance and fantasy until next summer. I'm not sure why I seem to be the opposite of everyone else, maybe because I am surrounded by Disney Channel and Nickelodeon all day I need something intellectually challenging.

Roberta said...

Ah yes, Jodi Picoult. Never read her, but see her books all over, so that sounds like a more likely candidate for beach reading. Lolita never made it on any of my reading lists in school, but if it is typically on those kinds of lists I imagine it's probably dull. Personally, my most recent beach read was Suddenly You by Kleypas (which was wonderful). And not at all dull.

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

Hey, nothing wrong with nonfiction, Rene! I ususally have a research book on my beside table as well (wonderful for insomnia!) My current is: CRAZE: Gin and Debauchery in an Age of Reason. Sadly I haven't gotten to the debauchery part yet...

I must confess that I haven't read Jodi Picoult either, roberta, but I have friends who have and liked her. SUDDENLY YOU is one of my favorite Kleypas!

Katie Mack said...

Oh yeah, I agree in thinking most of those people are totally lying (and/or totally pretentious).

Probably my top beach read would be Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. It's not my all-time favorite book (damn close though), but when I picture myself reading at the beach -- under a huge umbrella with mass quantities of sunscreen -- that's what I see myself reading.

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

Good choice, Katie! Just about any Jennifer Crusie book qualifies as a great beach read.

Nicole McLaughlin said...

People need to feel like they sound smart....no matter if they have to lie to do it. As for me, there is no way in hell I'd be reading Huck Finn on the beach....or maybe ever again (as much as I agree its a classic!) If I were relaxing on a beach I would have a Kleypas book (any will do), or one of the Outlander series which I'm currently reading and cant get enough of, a Sookie Stackhouse (guilty pleasure) or definitely one of yours. Raven Prince being my first pick.

Nicole McLaughlin said...

Well, i just took a peek at the list. I'll admit, there are some books on there that I really do like. To Kill a Mockingbird, The Pillars of the Earth. But the beach????? No, those are more a cabin in the mountains with a roaring fire and red wine. The beach calls for sexy banter and hot men...just my opinion!!! :)

etirv said...

I always have a book in my bag (it used to be food, now it's a book) and most of the time, it's a historical romance! The beach is wasted on this sun-fearing Hawaii resident, however!

Elizabeth Hoyt, I have very, very few favorite authors and you are one of them! Your novels just have that something special, thanks so much! I can't wait to read To Desire a Devil!

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is one of my all-time favorites, too, Nicola, but somehow it just doesn't scream "fun, light, summer read!" Now Sookie Stackhouse on the other hand...

Aww, you're so sweet, etirv! I hope you'll enjoy TDAD when it comes out in Nov.

etirv said...

Elizabeth, you've never disappointed! Come to Hawaii and have a book signing!

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

I'd love to do a book signing in Hawaii! Afterwards we could all go to the beach to read. ;-)